Strategic Internet Marketing Services – 5 Criteria to Evaluate Service Providers

For most people, the dream of making an easy buck online has not turned out to be a reality. Back in the very early days of the Internet in the late 1990s, the idea of just setting up a website and letting the cash flow in was very much in fashion.

Unfortunately, as the dot com bubble burst and people started sobering up a bit from their web-world fantasies, all of the people who were unwilling to work at being successful online just left the scene and went somewhere else.

The ones who have stayed behind are those who have more realistic expectations of what an Internet business can be. Sure, there are still people making a mint online, but you can bet that they have not only worked very hard to achieve that goal – but they have also been very smart about the choices they have made. Sometimes, being smart means getting help from expert strategic consultants – or getting access to the right online tools.

Yes, as many have learned the hard way, when the going gets tough online, the tough seek out strategic Internet marketing service providers. If you are looking for strategic Internet marketing services, here are 5 criteria to evaluate potential service providers:

1. Length of experience:

How long has the person or company been working in this field? Ask for references and other evidence that they are not just someone who is new to the game after having read a few books and building their own website over a couple of long weekends. Experience definitely counts in this arena.

2. Amount of hands-on attention they will give you:

Figure out just how much personal, hands-on attention you will get from a senior level consultant. How can you do this? Before signing a contract or going forward with a project, call the office a few times and see how easy it is to actually talk to the head person in charge. Your experience here likely forebodes how the rest of the relationship will play out. Trust your first impressions.

3. Degree to which they know your particular industry:

The important of this one is debatable. Much of online know-how is agnostic to any particular industry. Still, if their company has experience with what you do, all the better.

4. Degree to which they outsource vs. use in-house talent:

Outsourcing certain online marketing tasks is no crime, and in many ways you may benefit from their doing this (such as in paying lower prices). However, make sure that all key strategic decisions on your behalf are being made in-house – and NOT by some outside person who really has little connection to you or your business goals.

5. Quality of tools they use:

All strategic Internet marketers have access to a host of interactive tools, such as website analysis, keyword analysis, and competitor analysis tools. Find out what they use and how well they use them.

An alternative to your hiring a strategic Internet marketing solutions provider is to gain access to professional grade online tools you can use yourself. After a bit of training, you may know 90% of what these consultants could tell you – for a lot less cash.

Importance of Strategic Internet Marketing

It is very important for an internet business to develop its Internet marketing strategy. Unlike traditional marketing techniques, it is not easy for an internet business to develop a strategy, as the market is volatile and many top level executives have failed here without predisposed goals and objectives.

For years, many businesses have used the internet to market their products and services to reach their target customers.

• The internet has become the leading arena for shopping and purchases with the younger generation. People, who wish to make their purchases in retail stores, look into the internet for collecting product related information before making their shopping.

Therefore it is important for businesses, be it small and medium sized or a large enterprise to develop their online web portal and market their products through the online media as well, to reach a wider target audience.

If the business and product impresses people, they are automatically propagated to thousands of consumers, via social media which is a powerful tool than grapevine and word of mouth communication.

• Businesses can target their customers in a much better way through the internet. There are proved track records to monitor an record customer activity with the website, his searches, purchases etc., This analysis of the website traffic would enable the company to progress in the direction, their customers prefer.

This in turn enhances the services of the company and builds good brand reputation and brand loyalty. This information on customer preferences also enables the company to concentrate on better marketing techniques and strategies to flourish better in their business. This also promotes impulse buying. Consumer looking for a specific product is able to make the purchase from the comfort of his home within few key strokes. Also he is able to apply additional codes and coupons to avail discounts with the product.

All these happen through quick streamlined process motivating people to visit the website again and again for making more purchases. But care needs to be exerted while implementing the ‘buy now pay later’ strategy as it may leave the company with heavy debts.

• Internet marketing also enables companies to reduce inventory cost. There is no need for them to stock a huge number of stocks as that of retail shops to yield customer’s attention.

E-commerce websites merely carry the product description and pictures and order for real stocks only when a customer places an order. This enables business to save time and space.

Websites also can keep track of history of purchases made by other customers thereby increasing their review and customer rating, which has the potential to attract other customers. If products can be sent in the digital form, they can save a lot so shipping expenses. Money is also saved from paying customer support representatives, as all products related information is available on the product’s websites.

No doubt, it helps businesses to save a lot of overhead expenses while they still offer excellent service to their clients. Thus, it creates a global presence to the business and gives them an opportunity for worldwide marketing. Irrespective of the physical locations, businesses can propagate their business all through the world.